Cambridge Arts Theatre awarded £985k as part of Culture Recovery Fund

PUBLISHED: 16:09 23 October 2020 | UPDATED: 19:13 23 October 2020

Cambridge Arts Theatre has been awarded £985,000 as part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund (CRF).

Cambridge Arts Theatre has been awarded £985,000 as part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund (CRF).

Cambridge Arts Theatre

Cambridge Arts Theatre has received nearly £1million from the government to help face the ongoing challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.

Cambridge Arts Theatre has been awarded £985,000 as part of the Government’'s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund (CRF). Picture: Dennis Gilbert.Cambridge Arts Theatre has been awarded £985,000 as part of the Government’'s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund (CRF). Picture: Dennis Gilbert.

The theatre has been awarded £985,000 as part of the £1.57billion Culture Recovery Fund (CRF).

Since closing its doors in March, it is estimated the Arts Theatre in St Edward’s Passage has lost over 97 per cent of its income, with 13 touring productions cancelled and thousands of audience members disappointed due to the current crisis.

The grant, which is administered through Arts Council England, will secure the theatre’s immediate future.

It will enable managers to plan its recovery and safe reopening to audiences over the coming months.

Box office this way for the Cambridge Arts TheatreBox office this way for the Cambridge Arts Theatre

Dave Murphy, chief executive at Cambridge Arts Theatre, said: “We are incredibly relieved and grateful to receive this vital grant.

“It is however, a bittersweet moment for us because many of our loyal staff have had to leave the theatre as a result of this crisis and many in the freelance theatrical community are still really struggling.

“This grant will enable us to start rebuilding our theatre from solid foundations and to play our part in reopening our industry.

“We are all looking forward to welcoming our greatly missed audience back as soon as possible.

Seats in Cambridge Arts Theatre. Picture: Dennis GilbertSeats in Cambridge Arts Theatre. Picture: Dennis Gilbert

Founded in 1936 by John Maynard Keynes, economist and founding member of the Arts Council, Cambridge Arts Theatre has helped launch the careers of theatrical luminaries such as Ian McKellen and Sam Mendes, and celebrated many significant cultural milestones, from Margot Fonteyn dancing her first Swan Lake to Harold Pinter’s premiere of The Birthday Party.

Ian Mather, chairman of Cambridge Arts Theatre Trust, added: “Cambridge Arts Theatre occupies a very special place in the hearts of many in Cambridgeshire.

You may also want to watch:

“This award gives us a vital lifeline and will help our amazing team at the theatre to get our doors open again as soon as possible.”

Cambridge Arts Theatre is one of 588 cultural and creative organisations across the country receiving urgently needed support – with £76 million of investment announced in the second tranche of funding.

This follows £257 million awarded earlier in the month to 1,385 organisations, also from the Culture Recovery Fund grants programme being administered by Arts Council England on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden, the MP for Hertsmere in Hertfordshire, said: “This is more vital funding to protect the culture gems across the country, save jobs and prepare the arts to bounce back.

“Through Arts Council England we are delivering the biggest ever investment in the arts in record time.

“Hundreds of millions of pounds are already making their way to thousands of organisations.

“These awards build on our commitment to be here for culture in every part of the country.”

The Cultural Recovery Fund forms part of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s #HereForCulture campaign to protect jobs, restart performances and create work for freelancers.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Saffron Walden Reporter. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Saffron Walden Reporter